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Science, Photography, and Trip Reviews


Bangkok, Thailand Scenic & Historic Tour

Dazzling temples, magnificent shrines, and a grand palace

Impressive Buddhas, fascinating statues, and gorgeous flowers

Flower Market.


Teakwood mansion of Rama V.

Flower market in Bangkok, Thailand.


Golden teakwood palace of King Rama V.

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The city, people, and customs

In some ways Bangkok is much like a large U.S.A. city with a Pizza Hut, McDonald's, or other fast-food restaurants on many streets. But, when you see the many temples and shrines you know that Bangkok is quite different from a U.S.A. city.

The Thai people are very pleasant and friendly. It is both interesting and important to understand their customs, some of which are quite different from our own. For example, in Thailand it is considered offensive to point your foot at either someone or the image of a Buddha. This means that you do not cross your legs, and if you sit on the floor your feet must be tucked under your body. When you enter a temple or home you must take off your shoes.

Another important thing to know is that King Bhumibol is highly revered. Anyone making bad statements about the King will go to jail. The King's picture is on all the money. So do not mistreat the money or you will go to jail. It is interesting to note that King Bhumibol was born in the U.S.A. in 1927, and he is reported to be a talented jazz saxophonist.

The traffic in Bangkok is bad, and most Westerners will not drive in it. However, taxies are plentiful; if there is no taxi meter be sure that you have an agreement on the fare in advance.

Rebecca & Sunny investigating Bangkok canals.


Sunset on the Chao Phraya River.

Rebecca & Sunny investigating Bangkok canals.


Sunset on the Chao Phraya River.

In Bangkok there are many tailors, but be sure to choose a tailor wisely. Remember that a cheap suit is often just that - a cheap suit. Rebecca and I both bought bought quality tailor made suits at good prices. In addition, you can buy jewelry at very good prices, and we did.

There are a number of good hotels in Bangkok. The Oriental Hotel is often rated best in the world. This hotel has been reported to have two and one half staff persons for each guest.

Flower market

There are some truly amazing and beautiful sights to see in Bangkok. A good example is the flower market near the statue of King Rama I close to the river. On the sidewalks you find block after block of gorgeous flowers for sale, mostly wholesale to stores and hotels. Thailand produces a lot of flowers, and it exports more orchids than any other country. The flower market is not on the beaten tourist path, so this is a place to go and see the real Bangkok.

Solid-gold buddha in Chinatown.


Drama at Lak Muang Shrine.

Solid-gold Buddha weighing more than 5 tons (4500 kilograms).


Drama at Lak Muang Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand.

Many things to see and do

There are a number of snake farms in Bangkok, and we visited one and saw snake handlers play with a cobra. We also went to see the very large three story mansion of King Rama V. This palace is made entirely of golden teakwood, and it is most impressive. A very relaxing thing that we did was to take boat rides in the Chao Phraya River and adjoining canals. A river cruise is not only one of the best ways to get around, it is very inexpensive.

Shrines, Temples, and Buddhas

In Bangkok there are countless shrines and about 300 temples called wats. Buddha images are everywhere. Of the more impressive is the solid-gold Buddha found in Chinatown. It is 15 feet (4.6 meters) high, weighs over 5 tons (4500 kilograms), and is thought to be made of 18 karat gold; this is the largest golden Buddha in the world. At Wat Po is a Reclining Buddha that is 150 feet (46 meters) long with a tilted head reaching a height of 50 feet (15 meters). The structure is made of brick and covered with gold leaf. The most famous Buddha in Bangkok is the Emerald Buddha found at Wat Pra Keo. At all Buddhas many Thais can be found kneeling in prayer.

The most beautiful and dazzling sight in Bangkok is Wat Pra Keo with an incredible temple, attractive buildings, statues, and murals. The scene is like walking into a magnificent fairy tale. But you finally realize that it is all for real. You can only wonder what it must have been like to have been a Thai King, and to have lived in all of that splendor.

Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand.


Wat Pra Keo in Bangkok, Thailand.

Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) in Bangkok, Thailand.


A few of the many statues at Wat Pra Keo in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell prints and slides.